Faithful to the Finish Line, Day 5: Run Your Race, Not Hers

Congratulations! You’re halfway through the ten-day Faithful to the Finish Line Leader Challenge. We’re cheering you on with a giveaway of a beautiful sage-colored Bible engraved with the Revive Our Hearts logo. Tell us in the comments one way God has proved His faithfulness to you, then enter your name in the drawing below.

Have you registered for the Recommissioned webinar with Erin Davis, Susan Hunt and myself? We’re counting down the days to June 9 when we’ll champion you with tools and truth to remain steadfast in your ministry calling. Don’t miss this exclusive invitation for women’s leaders! I’m cheering for you! —Leslie Bennett, Director of Women’s Ministry Initiatives

Your Challenge

Fix your eyes on Jesus and the finish line by reading Hebrews 12:1-3 every day for ten days. 

Today’s Verse

Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. —Hebrews 12:1

Today’s Devotion

That word endurance paints an image of a long road, not a short sprint before collapsing in a lawn chair. Endurance requires pressing on, even when I grow tired, frustrated, or bored. Or even when challenges arise and incline grows steep. 

Jesus must be my example, the writer of Hebrews says. “Consider him who endured . . . so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Heb. 12:3). There’s something about returning my gaze to Jesus—who endured the steepest climb of all up Golgotha's hill—which gives me strength to take the next step. And the one after that. And there’s something about glancing sideways which makes me want to quit. 

When I’m sweating and straining, I want the person next to me to be sweating and straining, too. I want to know that I’m not alone. And truly, as I run this Christian race, I’m not alone. I am part of a running group of followers who span the globe, and we all experience the same kinds of runners’ aches and struggles (1 Peter 5:9). 

Yet if there’s one thing that compounds my weary faintheartedness, it’s trying to endure while the person in the next lane doesn’t seem to have as much to bear. Like when I look over and the church down the street is growing, while mine is dwindling. Or that leader over there is planning her daughter’s wedding, while I’m grieving the loss of my husband. As I gaze at this other person, my heart fills with envy, strife, pride, and grief. 

This measuring and comparing is sideways energy, which distracts me from my race and saps my energy. If I want to run with endurance, I have to look “to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of [my] faith” (Heb. 12:2).

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the disciples one morning after they had been fishing. They ate breakfast together, and then Jesus took a walk with Peter and gave him a glimpse into the race ahead—which would require great endurance and many trials, including death. As Jesus shared this, Peter turned and saw John trailing behind and asked, “What about him?” 

Jesus replied, “What is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:23).

Friend, are your eyes drifting to someone else’s lane today? Are you—like Peter— craning your neck and becoming distracted? Are you comparing your race with that of another disciple? If so, turn your eyes to Jesus and listen as He says, “What’s that to you? You follow me!” 

Prayer

God, Thank you for choosing me to be your disciple and marking out a course just for me. Help me to stop glancing sideways and keep my eyes on Jesus as I run my race to the finish.

Reflect and Respond 

  • Read James 3:14–16 and describe any bitter jealousy or selfish ambition causing your eyes to drift from Jesus. How has this sideways focus been distracting you or sapping your energy?
  • What is the Lord asking you to endure today? What is one way that you will “stay in your own lane” and keep following the Lord? 

Running Further

  • Read 1 Peter 5:5–11 and make a list of Peter’s instructions and promises in these verses. Choose one that you will cling to, as you keep your eyes on Jesus and run with endurance. 
  • For practical help in overcoming the temptation to compare, check out this Ask an Older Woman post from the True Woman blog, “Ask an Older Woman #2: How Do I Overcome Comparison?” 

Hey leaders! Tell us one way God has been faithful to you in the comments below, and you may win a beautiful sage-colored Bible embossed with the Revive Our Hearts logo. Enter the giveaway below and good luck!

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About the Author

Shannon Popkin

Shannon Popkin

Shannon is a writer and speaker, who loves to blend her gifts for storytelling and humor with her passion for God’s Word. She is the author of Comparison Girl, Control Girl, and Influence. Shannon is from west Michigan and is happy to be sharing life with Ken, who makes her laugh every single day. Together, they have the joy of parenting two college students, a high schooler, plus two adorable shih tzus.

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